Universal Design for Learning
What is Universal Design for Learning (UDL)?
The most consistent finding to emerge from the interdisciplinary study of learning is that when it comes to learning, natural variability is the rule, not the exception. What is perhaps most important to understand about learner variability is not that it exists, but that not all of it is random. Because some variability is systematic, you can design for it in advance. This approach is called Universal Design for Learning (UDL). —udloncampus.cast.org
According to UDL on Campus (2015), UDL is an "educational framework that guides the design of learning goals, materials, methods, and assessments as well as the policies surrounding these curricular elements with the diversity of learners in mind." Universal Design for Learning is distinct from other areas of Universal Design (UD) in that it focuses explicitly on the learning process and addresses the following three principles: multiple means of representation, multiple means of expression, and multiple means of engagement. UDL focuses on the holistic design of accessible learning; for this reason, it is necessary to focus on accessible pedagogy, as well as accessible materials, when designing instruction. See the resources, presentations, and links below for more information on UDL at the University of Memphis.
REACHING ALL LEARNERS: UDL In ONLINE COURSE DESIGN
UDL: A Deeper Dive
UDL IN HIGHER EDUCATION
There are many ways to get involved in UDL implementation, research, and professional development. Here are just a few:
- Participate in the UDL-IRN Summit (http://udl-irn.org/) in March 30-31 2017. This event is hosted each year by the UDL Implementation and Research Network.
- Submit a proposal to present at the 3rd Annual UDL Symposium (Summer 2017) in Boston, MA. This event is hosted each year by the Center for Applied Special Technology. (For more information, visit castprofessionallearning.org).
- Explore UDL institutes, webinars, and free resources available via CAST Professional Learning.
- Learn more about UDL in Higher Education at udloncampus.cast.org.
- Join the #UDLChat on Twitter.